Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bored today...

So today I didn't feel like trying to beat the heat outside on a bicycle....So I took the dogs to the dog park nice and early and let them run around for a while. After meeting up with Amelia for lunch, I decided I needed to take a couple photos before I went crazy.

This is the only one I came up with...A lime dropped into a glass of water. Pretty original.

Lime Drop

So there you have it.

I lit the photo using 4 Nikon SB strobes. Again, this lighting is very easy.

I had one left and right of the subject pointing at the wall @ 1/2, one below and behind the glass, pointing up into the glass @ 1/8th, and one subject right wayyyyy up high pointed straight down at the glass at 1/2.

I pointed the two flashes at the wall at such high power to wash out the background (which was a white cloth tacked to the wall). I had one aimed at the wall at about stem height and one aimed at the wall at about the top of the cup to provide a somewhat even distribution of the blown out background. Unfortunately, I had to use the dodge tool in Photoshop to correct a couple spots, but nothing major (more on that in a second).

The main light (pointed at the subject) was positioned up high (and shot through an umbrella) to try to avoid hot spots and reflections on the glass. If I would have put the umbrella parallel with the subject, you would have seen a giant reflection with my flash in it. Not so pretty.
Keeping reflections off of reflective stuff is somewhat difficult (:p)...I shot something very similar to this a while ago and it was much easier as I covered everything in the room with something black to help keep reflections down...It didn't entirely work, but every photo is a learning experience.

Orange drop

(back to the first image) I set the glass up on top of a thin sheet of glass that I stole from a picture frame. The glass was held up by 4 water glasses and those were held up by a small table. I put my camera on a tripod and fired it with a shutter release cord. (can't remember their official name right now)

After I shot the photo, tore down the set-up and downloaded the photos, I realized that I hadn't quite blown out the background. There were still some spots that were not-quite-white so I used a little trick I read about in another blog (I can't think of it at the moment, dang it)...

I'm not a photoshop guy so this is really basic, but it came in really handy on this photo.
A simple click of the dodge tool, set to highlights and at a lower percentage (13% is what I used), I went over the dark spots in the photograph until they were white. The 13% makes it possible to go over small specks of water near the edge of the frame and not burn them out, but still lighten up the background.

So about 45 seconds of postprocessing and you have this photo!

I'm terrible at Photoshop (I can crop, resize, do some levels and basic color adjustments and that's about it) so I try to get it right in the camera instead of relying on the computer to help me become a better photographer.

I'm shooting some more football and I have the chance (depending on this damn hurricane) to shoot some more University of Texas football on Saturday. I learned a lot from the other photographers coverage and (if I get the chance) I plan on doing a 100% better job. The game starts at 2:30 p.m. (can you say ISO 200???) and I have some plans for some interesting images.....Please hurricane Ike, Ivan, Ingrad or whatever the hell your name is....

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